Bangladesh bakes as heatwave brings decade-high 40.2C temperature to Dhaka

The city witnessed the second-highest temperature in 60 years, matching the previous record a decade ago, while Chuadanga recorded highest temperature of 41.7 degrees Celsius on first day of Baishakh

Published : 14 April 2023, 04:14 PM
Updated : 14 April 2023, 04:14 PM

Bangladesh is sweltering under most severe hot weather and records are tumbling, causing severe discomfort both indoors and outdoors.

Dhaka has reported another record-breaking temperature at the beginning of Baishakh after experiencing hot days during Chaitra during the 11-day heat wave.

The city experienced such intense heat twice in the past sixty years, the most recent occurrence being 10 years ago.

Now, there is a fear that this record may be surpassed within the next couple of days.

After experiencing almost two weeks of heat waves during the dry month of Chaitra, the capital recorded its highest temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius on New Year's Day.

This is the second-highest temperature ever recorded in Dhaka, the highest being in April 1960, when temperatures rose to 42.3 degrees Celsius.

The temperature in the capital reached a five-decade high of 40.2 degrees Celsius on Apr 24, 2014, surpassing the previous record of 39.6 degrees Celsius on Apr 27, 2009, meteorologist Bazlur Rashid said.

April usually sees temperature soar, and heatwaves have been a common occurrence in recent years, he said.

A mild to moderate heatwave has persisted for 11 consecutive days, with severe heatwave lasting for three of those days, according to him.

The prolonged absence of rain and low humidity levels are contributing to the rising temperatures and making the heat unbearable, Bazlur explained.

“The current situation may persist for a few more days.”

Chuadanga recorded the highest temperature of 41.7 degrees Celsius in the country on Friday, which is also the highest in the past decade.

Thermometers in Chuadanga reached 42 degrees Celsius in 2014, while mercury in Rajshahi hit the highest 42.5 degrees Celsius in 2010.

Meteorologists consider the 36-38 degrees Celsius threshold as a mild heatwave and 38-40 degrees Celsius as a moderate heatwave. Temperatures beyond 40 degrees Celsius are categorised as severe heatwaves.

Bazlur predicted a mild to intense heat wave across the country, which is likely to persist, and both day and night temperatures may rise in the next 24 hours.

The daytime temperature is increasing, but the nighttime temperature remains the same.

There may be light storms in the coming days, but apparently, there is no relief from the constant heat, he said.

“Rain may occur towards the end of the week, and heavy rainfall is expected by the end of April.”